August 6, 2011
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

WWE: Greatest Superstars of the 21st Century BLU-RAY
Two-Disc Set
Released: July 26, 2011

DISC ONE
PROGRAM: 99 minutes

To summarize the show, there’s a ton of clips showcasing that particular superstar with various other superstars making comments to put them over. There’s really no good way to review the program, so I’ll just list what WWE shows as their accomplishments.

Chris Jericho:
Quick Stats:
Years: 2000-2009
2001 – First ever WWE Undisputed Champion
2008 – Won a record ninth Intercontinental Championship
2009 – Slammy Award for WWE Superstar of the Year

Edge:
Quick Stats:
Years: 2000-2009
2001 – King of the Ring Winner
2005 – First Ever Money in the Bank Winner
2008 – Main Event of WrestleMania 24 against the Undertaker

Triple H:
Quick Stats:
Years: 2000-2009
2002 – Royal Rumble Winner
2002 – Won Undisputed Championship at WrestleMania x8
Eight Hell in a Cell Matches – Most in Decade

JBL:
Quick Stats:
Years: 2000-2009
2004 – Won WWE Championship
2004/2005 – Longest WWE Title Reign in Smackdown History
2006 – Smackdown Color Commentator

Kane:
Quick Stats:
Years: 2000-2009
2001 – Most Eliminations In A Single Royal Rumble (11)
2003 – Unmasks On Raw
2008 – Fastest WrestleMania Match – ECW Championship – Eight Seconds

Kurt Angle:
Quick Stats:
Years: 2000-2006
Only Olympic Gold Medalist in WWE History
2000 – King of the Ring Winner
2000 – Won WWE Championship

The Rock:
Quick Stats:
Years: 2000-2009
2000 – Royal Rumble Winner
2002 – Defeated Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania x8
2003 – Defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania XIX

Randy Orton:
Quick Stats:
Years: 2002-2009
2004 – Youngest World Champion in WWE History
2009 – Leader of Legacy
2009 – Royal Rumble Winner

Brock Lesnar:
Quick Stats:
Years: 2002-2004
2000 – NCAA Heavyweight Wrestling Champion
2002 – King of the Ring Winner
2002 – Youngest WWE Champion in History

Decade of the Divas: Trish Stratus, Torrie Wilson, Stacy Keibler & Lita were chosen here. Certainly the longest employed divas.

Jeff Hardy:
Quick Stats:
2001 – Intercontinental Champion
2008 – Slammy Award – Extreme Moment of the Year
6-Time Tag Team Champion in the Decade

Big Show:
Quick Stats:
Years: 2000-2009
2006 – First Person to Win WWE, WCW, and ECW Championship
2008 – Fought Floyd “Money” Mayweather at WrestleMania 24
2009 – Slammy Award for Tag Team of the Year with Chris Jericho

Eddie Guerrero:
Quick Stats:
Years: 2000-2005
Won WWE Tag Team Titles with Four Different Partners
2004 – Defeated Brock Lesnar to Win WWE Title
2006 – Inducted to WWE Hall of Fame

Shawn Michaels:
Quick Stats:
Years: 2002-2009
2002 – Returned at SummerSlam After 4-Year Absence
2002 – Won First Ever Elimination Chamber Match
2008 – Slammy Award for Match of the Year vs. Ric Flair

Booker T:
Quick Stats:
Years: 2001-2008
2001 – Brought WCW Championship to WWE
2006 – King of the Ring Winner
2006 – Won World Heavyweight Championship

Stone Cold Steve Austin:
Quick Stats:
Years: 2000-2009
2001 – Royal Rumble Winner (Third Time)
2003 – General Manager of Raw
2009 – Inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame

Undertaker:
Quick Stats:
Years: 2000-2009
2007 – First to Win Royal Rumble at #30
Won the World Heavyweight Championship Four Times
Undefeated at WrestleMania

Rey Mysterio:
Quick Stats:
Years: 2002-2009
2006 – Smallest World Champion
2006 – Longest Time in a Rumble Match (62 Minutes)
Won Tag Team Titles With 4 Different Partners

Batista:
Quick Stats:
Years: 2002-2009
2004 – Tag Team Champion with Ric Flair
2005 – Royal Rumble Winner
2005 – Won the World Heavyweight Championship

John Cena:
Quick Stats:
Years: 2002-2009
2005 – Raw’s #1 Draft Pick
2008 – Royal Rumble Winner
7-Time WWE Champion – Most in Decade

Greatest Stars of the 21st Century: Another clip show telling us that these people are Hall of Fame inductees without question.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

WCW World Champion Booker T (w/Shane McMahon) vs. The Rock – (SummerSlam 2001)
From one of my personal fave PPVs. This is the Rock’s big return match after leaving to film the Scorpion King and we are smack dab in the middle of the infamous Invasion angle. Rock lays the Smackdown to start and then chases Shane O Mac around ringside, who baits the Rock right into Booker. He gets a little slow working over Rock in the corner, so Rock fires back and unleashes the once-a-year La Magistral cradle for 1-2-NO! Booker hits a Harlem Side Kick for two. To the floor we go! They brawl around the announce tables and then into the crowd. Back to ringside, Rock gets posted as Shane tries to untie the top turnbuckle pad. He can’t remove it though it seems. Back in, Booker shuts down a Rock comeback with another Harlem Side Kick for two. Flying Forearm gets another nearfall. Rock fights out of a chinlock and applies the Sharpshooter, but Shane on the apron brings him off the hold. He turns back around into a Jumping Side Kick for two. Rock fights back with a catapult and a DDT gets 1-2-NO! Oops, get your shoulder up Booker! This is SUMMERSLAM! Shane places a chair in the corner meant for Booker. That distracts the ref long enough for Shane to run back around and nail the Rock with the title belt. Finally, the APA head down to handle Shane. Faarooq chases him around the ring into a CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL by Bradshaw. Meanwhile, Booker hits the BOOK END! Cover, 1-2-NO! Rock wins a slugfest and hits a belly to belly throw for two. Spinebuster sets up the PEOPLE’S ELBOW for 1-2-NO! Shane slides in and interrupts the ref. Rock has had enough of this guy and gives him a ROCK BOTTOM on the floor. Back in, Booker cools off the Rock with a Spinebuster of his own. Unless you’re Tony Schiavone, it’s a Side Walk Slam! SCISSORS KICK connects and we see the SPINAROONIE, but he spins right around into a ROCK BOTTOM for the 1-2-3. (15:19) Holy crap what a pop. They did a great job considering they had to follow Austin-Angle. ***

WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho – (Raw, 9/16/02)
RVD started his third IC title reign back at SummerSlam 2002 when he defeated Chris Benoit. Jericho looks to give his Un-Americans stable some added legitimacy with more gold as Lance Storm and Christian have already secured the tag belts. Just as Jericho proclaims himself to be the King of the World, RVD unleashes his “educated feet” all over Y2J. Jericho hits a flying forearm and delivers a back suplex. RVD tries a catapult, but Jericho lands on the middle rope and launches himself back into a dropkick. To the apron, RVD legdrops him across the chest. RVD goes for the FIVE-STAR, but Jericho kicks the ref into the ropes to trip up Van Dam. Jericho brings him down with a butterfly superplex to do some damage on the back. Jericho follows up with a bunch of backbreakers. RVD fights back with kicks – mostly straight to the teeth. Monkey Flip is followed by Rolling Thunder for 1-2-NO! RVD counters the WALLS OF JERICHO with a rollup for two. Stepover heel kick sets up the FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH, but here comes Triple H down the aisle. Instead of worrying about Jericho, RVD flies down on top of HHH. Ouch! RVD avoids a baseball slide and makes Jericho pay with a roundhouse kick. Back inside, RVD hits the split-legged moonsault for 1-2-NO! Once HHH gets on the apron, he’s flipped into the ring and then kicked out by RVD! Now Jericho seizes the moment and grabs RVD for the WALLS OF JERICHO! Can he not tap out? Apparently not. RVD gives up as Jericho captures the IC belt for the fifth time. (8:45) Afterwards, HHH leaves RVD laying with the PEDIGREE. So it appears that HHH took his bumps here on Raw so he wouldn’t have to job to RVD at Unforgiven. Hmm. Nothing really all that interesting in the way of a wrestling match. Just a way to get the IC title off RVD. **

World Heavyweight Champion Triple H (w/Ric Flair) vs. Kane – Title v. Mask (Raw, 6/23/03)
We are in MSG, folks. You know it’s serious now! Kane is all over HHH to start. They brawl to the floor where HHH eats the steps and then gets tossed out into the front row to the delight of some lovely blondes. They seem to think it’s hilarious that a large masked man is beating another guy senseless right in front of them and would rather squeeze HHH’s butt like it’s a bicycle horn. While Flair has the ref’s attention, Triple H drills Kane in the face with a chair that sends him back into the front row. Commercials! When we come back, HHH hits the AA Spinebuster, but Kane sits up! He wins a slugfest, but falls to a DDT. He sits up again! HHH hits a reverse neckbreaker, but Kane refuses to stay down. Kane NO-SELLS HHH’s punches and hits a powerslam for two. Side Slam sets up the Flying Clothesline. HHH falls back into the ref, but he’s not completely knocked out. HHH ducks a Big Boot that catches ref Earl Hebner. That one certainly knocks him out. Flair tries to swing the belt at Kane, but he gets punched down. Now Kane has the belt and KO’s HHH with it. No ref of course. Another ref runs down for 1-2-NO! Kane doesn’t seem to care for that guy’s cadence and throws him out. HHH low blows Kane and hits the PEDIGREE. Still no ref. Slow count by Hebner gets 1-2-NO! Kane backdrops out of the PEDIGREE and CHOKESLAMS Flair who again interferes. HHH tries another shot at the PEDIGREE, but Kane counters with a catapult into Flair. As Kane lifts HHH up for the CHOKESLAM, we see Randy Orton jump the rail and low blow the heck out of Kane. With Kane doubled over, Orton delivers the RKO. Another PEDIGREE from HHH gets the slow 1-2-3. (8:27 shown) The Raw GM Eric Bischoff comes out and demands that Kane come through on his part of the deal. TAKE OFF THE MASK! Just as he starts to take it off, Evolution start beating on him again. Kane’s tag partner Rob Van Dam makes the save and once the ring is clear of them, Kane reluctantly takes off the mask to show what appears to be a bad likeness of the Missing Link. Once he’s unmasked, he turns around and CHOKESLAMS the heck out of Rob Van Dam. LIGHT UP THOSE FOUR CORNERS! Arguably, Kane’s career would never be the same. I know I didn’t care for him once he lost the mask. That has more to do with the way he was booked though than anything else. Not really a great match. A lot of moves didn’t even hit and heavily overbooked. *½

WWE Champion Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar – 60-Minute Ironman Match (Smackdown, 9/18/03)
I could have gone to this show with two of my friends who went on without me. I chose not to go out of PRINCIPLE because I had really stopped caring for WWE by this point in 2003. Neither Raw nor Smackdown interested me all that much anymore, but looking back Smackdown certainly had its moments where I wish I had hung on and watched more than I did. Then Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit get the push of a lifetime and I had to come back. Angle and Lesnar were like a rivalry made in heaven – two amateurs who turned “pro” and could both do amazing things when called upon to do so. Everybody knows about how they traded victories at WrestleMania and SummerSlam. This is the rubber match that will settle the feud once and for all. This is the first-ever Ironman match on free TV and there are no commercial breaks! There is a fifteen second rest period in between falls, which I think is bull. There are NO timeouts in wrestling, I say!

Brock stomps the crap out of Angle to start, but Angle fires back with hard clotheslines and throws Brock around. Brock hits the floor and plays the Larry Z role of stalling and killing time. Come on, you’ve only got an hour. Angle beats him out of the ring again and Brock gets angry as he picks up the steel steps in frustration. Again he’s takes a spill to the floor and this time he hits his injured knee against the barricade. Angle goes out after him and winds up being slammed into the ringpost. Mischief managed! With Angle back inside, Lesnar grabs a chair and assaults Angle way past being DQ’ed at 8:30. Angle 1, Lesnar 0. Brock has a huge smile on his face. Cole and Tazz can’t figure out why he did that. Any amount of brain cells could figure out why. Lesnar goes down and takes a swig of water from Cole. He heads back in and delivers an F-5 just for giggles for 1-2-3 at 10:20. Lesnar 1, Angle 1. Lesnar makes sure Angle stays down on the mat as he puts the boots to him. In a satisfying moment, Brock hooks on the Anklelock and forces Angle to tap at 12:08 to pull ahead. Irony! Lesnar 2, Angle 1. Brock can’t score another pinfall with an Angle Slam and goes to the mat. Angle fights out and avoids a corner charge. Here comes the Germans! Luckily, I’m talking about the suplex. They go to the floor where Lesnar gives Angle an F-5 at ringside! Brock makes it back inside to beat the ten count, but Angle cannot at 19:59. Lesnar 3, Angle 1. Angle battles back with a bunch of suplexes, but Brock slips out of the ANGLE SLAM and drills him with a clothesline. However, Angle remains adamant and gets the ANGLE SLAM anyways for the 1-2-3 at 26:07. Lesnar 3, Angle 2. Still over a half hour to go. Nice exchange as they transition from the Angle Slam to the F-5 to the ANKLELOCK! Brock tries to roll Angle off into the ref, but Angle catches himself. Lesnar dives for a clothesline and Angle ducks only for ref Brian Hebner to be wiped out. ANGLE SLAM, but no ref. Brock low blows Angle and knocks him out with the WWE title belt. He tosses the ref over to Angle like he’s a sack of potatoes and gets the 1-2-3 at 30:39. Lesnar 4, Angle 2.

Angle tries to regain the advantage by taking it to the floor as he drops a double-sledge on Brock like he’s Randy Savage or something. Back in, that gets two. Angle heads up top again and delivers a missile dropkick (!!) for 1-2-NO! He tries the belly flop moonsault, but there’s no water in the pool. Brock starts to throw Angle around, but then Angle counters to the ANKLELOCK. Lesnar creates the escape by flipping Angle off the floor. A trip into the steps gets two for Lesnar. He tries to bring half of the steps into the ring, but Angle dropkicks them back into him. He brings Lesnar back inside for 1-2-NO! Lesnar tries to shut Angle down with a Spinebuster. Powerbomb with twenty minutes left gets 1-2-NO! Here comes a crazy top-rope superplex by Lesnar for another 1-2-3 at 41:39. Lesnar 5, Angle 2. Cole and Tazz give up on Angle. Lesnar looks dead on his feet. Angle stops a series of vertical suplexes with a German. Another German suplex flips Brock completely over onto his injured knee for 1-2-NO! Brock throws Angle out to get him off his knee. Instead of regrouping, Brock goes out to meet him and winds up taking an F-5 from Angle injured knee-first straight into the ringpost. Back inside, Angle grabs a half crab. When Lesnar makes it to the ropes, he changes over to an ANKLELOCK. Brock still finds the ropes for the break. Angle then charges into a quick F-5. Slow cover gets 1-2-NO! Like a dummy, Lesnar heads up top and receives the POP-UP SUPERPLEX for 1-2-3 at 50:07. Lesnar 5, Angle 3. Angle wins a slugfest and keeps going all over Brock’s face in the corner. DOWN COME THE STRAPS! Lesnar avoids the ANGLE SLAM and hits a DDT. Cover, 1-2-NO! They each take a Hat Trick of Germans, but then Lesnar finds himself stuck in an ANKLELOCK. Nowhere to go! He taps out at 56:00. Lesnar 5, Angle 4. If we do end up in a tie, UPN has agreed to give Smackdown some extra time past the 10PM hour. Don’t worry though, the ‘Homeboys in Outer Space’ rerun will still air after the show! Set your DVRs accordingly. Angle is all over Brock’s injured knee with only a few minutes left. The Anklelock doesn’t get Brock to tap and a modified bow and arrow doesn’t make him tap. Lesnar tries to keep his distance and run out the clock, but Angle is determined. He delivers another series of Germans before Lesnar grabs the ref and low blows Angle to prevent another German suplex from happening. With twenty seconds left, Angle grabs the ANKLELOCK! He grapevines the leg, but Lesnar holds on as the hour has expired and we have a NEW WWE champion. (60:00) FINAL SCORE: Lesnar 5, Angle 4. I can only imagine what a German suplex (forget about a series of them) feels like after 55 minutes of wrestling. These two shortened their lives a little bit with all that. Anyways, it’s a really cool match but it lacked a certain level of drama in the last ten minutes that I think could have been achieved with some better booking. Instead of having Lesnar win the way he did and Angle never even being ahead, I would have had the match at least go to a tie with Lesnar going out strong with a last second F-5 instead of getting the cheap win like he did. Every heel doesn’t need to simply bend the rules to get heel heat – especially when you look like Brock Lesnar. He went from being an unstoppable monster in the fall of 2002 to winning a match by a low blow in the fall of 2003. He’s better than that and should be booked as such. No wonder he left after WrestleMania 20. ****

WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio – (Smackdown, 3/18/04)
This was Eddie’s first title match since WrestleMania where he had an amazing match with Kurt Angle. Now he’s here to defend the title again. They shake hands at the bell. Rey shows signs of an arm injury towards the beginning after he snaps off an armdrag on Eddie. Eddie doesn’t go after it though and controls with a headlock. Mysterio escapes and gets a few nearfalls with ranas. A tilt-a-whirl headscissors puts on Eddie on the floor. Inside the ring, Mysterio makes the universal “I want the belt” sign. That doesn’t bode well with Eddie, so he hops back in the ring and shoves him back. Rey gives him a slap and goes for a wheelbarrow bulldog, but Eddie shoves him off into the corner and goes after the arm with hammerlocks and armbars. Rey finally gets away from him with a flying mare and a monkey flip. He dumps Eddie on the floor where Rey gives him a Top Rope Asai Moonsault. After the commercial break, we come back to see Eddie giving Rey a superplex. Eddie delivers the always sick tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to Rey for 1-2-NO! Eddie’s getting frustrated and applies a hammerlock lift where he hoists Rey up on his shoulders like he was going for Splash Mountain. Pretty cool hold that I’m sure somebody does and has a name for it. Mysterio winds up flipping out of it into a small package for two. Eddie doesn’t let up on the arm and gives Rey a keylock bridge. I believe George Hackenschmidt would be proud of this match. If only it had some bearhugs. Mysterio tries the springboard moonsault DDT we saw at Halloween Havoc 1997, but it fails as he crashes on top of Eddie. After a Springboard Seated Senton, Rey goes for a standard moonsault DDT. Eddie catches him, but Mysterio manages a swinging DDT anyway for 1-2-NO! Eddie goes for the Three Amigos, but Mysterio slips out of the third one into a neat rollup for 1-2-NO! Eddie delivers the third suplex anyway and heads up for the FROG SPLASH, but misses. That leads to the 6-1-9! Here comes the Springboard Legdrop, but Eddie moves out of the way and a modified La Magistral cradle gets the win. (13:38) Much different than their previous matches. I liked the story with Eddie getting more ticked than usual that his friend would actually come right out and say that he wants his belt. I mean, what did Eddie expect? Anyways, good stuff as always. ***¾

BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVES:

Everything Evolves (Raw, 2/3/03): Immediately upon selecting this video and you see these four in the ring, you know exactly what you are about to see. HHH puts over Ric Flair as the greatest guy ever in the biz, and then calls himself the new Ric Flair. Batista and Randy Orton are diamonds in the rough and they will soon be the diamonds of the FUTURE. They stand as one as these four become the face of Raw for the next eighteen months, or until Randy Orton and Batista actually become what HHH originally intended for them to be. Whichever came first.

Kane’s Eulogy for Undertaker (Smackdown, 11/20/03): Kane helped Vince McMahon bury the Undertaker at Survivor Series and now he’s here to eugooglize him, or did you think Kane didn’t know what a eugoogly was? Quite the negative eulogy too. No reason it shouldn’t be considering Kane BURIED HIM ALIVE. In fact, most of the time the murderer doesn’t get to give a eulogy for the one murdered, but not in WWE.

JBL Is Not Afraid Of Undertaker (Smackdown, 8/5/04): JBL refuses to wait ten days for SummerSlam and calls the Dead Man out now. Out comes a UT midget. Looks like Hornswoggle. And no, I don’t think they all look alike. Remember in 1997 when they had Mini Vader and Mini Mankind? Heck, they even had Mini Bret! That’s just how dated this whole midget thing is. Okay, now that he’s taken off the hat, he doesn’t look like Hornswoggle. JBL spouts off some midget puns and looks to tombstone the little guy, we hear the *BONG*. The lights go out and then as they come back on, the real Undertaker is in the ring. Did Michael Cole just stutter like Shaggy from Scooby Doo? JBL throws the midget at him, but Taker does not catch midgets. JBL tries to cheap shot the Dead Man, but UT sees it coming and fires back. He goes to TOMBSTONE JBL, but Orlando Jordan sneaks out and pulls JBL to safety. UT does the universal “I want the belt” sign and poses in the ring under the blue lights. Mini Taker joins him and UT takes offense, so he chokeslams his Mini Me.

Final Thoughts: Okay, the program plays out like it’s either a really long advertisement for that new WWE fan or it’s strictly intended for children under the age of ten that don’t realize that Kurt Angle didn’t always work for TNA. It’s just a series of video packages that merely give kayfabe incite. I’m 25 years old, been a wrestling fan my whole life, and I was bored by it. Obviously I wasn’t who they were marketing that program to. I understand that. I assume though if you’re reading this review that you are probably a long-time fan as well. So for you, I say don’t bother with this set for the program. It’s not worth it.

However, the extras are the meat of the set as nine times out of ten, they are for WWE releases. The real gem here is that you get the Lesnar-Angle Ironman classic. If you enjoy those two as much as I do, then that’s worth the price of the DVD set. Guerrero v. Mysterio is a fun match, but it’s already on Eddie’s second set. The other extras range from being just average to downright lame. So far I’m going with a slight thumbs in the middle, but disc two could change my mind. We shall see.

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